Few places on the globe stir up interest quite like the mysterious cities of Russia. St Petersburg has become a top vacation spot for people all over the globe who want to unveil the mystery of this great city. There is no shortage of things to do in St Petersburg. Picture yourself walking among the ancient buildings and vibrant palaces in this city of beauty, mystery, and romance. Expedia.com is your inside guide to all the best attractions in St Petersburg.…
Top 38 Things to do in St. Petersburg, Russia
With your expert guide, head to Pushkin, also called Tsarskoye Selo, meaning "Village of the Tsars. " At the beautiful Catherine Palace, admire the large ballroom known as the Grand Hall or the Hall of Paintings and marvel at the Amber Room, covered from floor to ceiling with Baltic amber. Hidden from the public for almost 100 years, the Amber Room opened only after a full renovation in 2003.
With insightful narrative from your guide, learn that the 17th-century palace was designed by the famous Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli, the designer of the most important monuments of the city, and spanned the reigns of 5 tsars. Each of them altered the building according to their personal taste and what was in popular at the time, ranging from Rococo to neoclassic.
The beautiful architecture of the palace is surrounded by the neighboring park, where you have a chance to walk among the birches, firs, lakes, ponds, streams, bridges, sculptures, and pavilions. The unforgettable beauty of this park has been the subject of many poets and artists. Read More close
Just 18 miles (30 km) from St. Petersburg, visit Pushkin, also known as Tsarskoye Selo—meaning "Village of the Tsars. " Here, admire the magnificent Catherine Palace—built in the 17th century and designed by famed Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Spanning the reigns of 5 tsars, the palace was later altered based on what was in vogue—from rococo to neoclassic.
Admire the large ballroom, the Grand Hall or Hall of Paintings, and the Amber Room, covered with Baltic amber from floor to ceiling and kept from the public for almost 100 years. Walk among birch trees, firs, lakes, bridges, sculptures, and pavilions in the neighboring park, a subject of many poets and artists. Next, enjoy Russian dishes in the traditional restaurant and head to Pavlovsk.
Continue to Pavlovsk Palace, a gift from Catherine the Great to her son Pavel, the future Tsar Paul I. As you explore the palace, gaze at refined salons, Carrara marble fireplaces, and a vast collection of porcelain, paintings, and ivory articles. Then explore its 1,482-acre (600-ha) park, a game reserve for the tsar and considered a masterpiece of European landscape architecture. Read More close
Your expert guide describes the beautiful buildings and the city's turbulent history as you stroll along the avenues that make up the beautiful UNESCO-listed city center of St. Petersburg. Get up-close views of the Peter and Paul Fortress, the neo-classical Winter Palace, and the glorious St. Isaac's Cathedral. Take this opportunity to get some of the finest city views from atop the cathedral's 141 foot (43 m) colonnade.
Experience the best of the city with close views of the intricate designs of classical buildings and learn about the history beneath each beautiful façade. Read More close
Begin with a tour by private car or minivan to the center of this beautiful city. Stop by iconic landmarks including the neoclassical St. Isaac's Cathedral, and the Peter and Paul Fortress. Stop by the Palace Square to take in the classical beauty of the Winter Palace and the baroque-style Stroganov Palace.
Then enjoy an in-depth guided tour of Russia's largest museum, the State Hermitage Museum. With over 2. 7 million exhibits, it is commonly said that if you spent just 1 minute in front of each exhibit, a complete tour would take 11 years. See one of the world's largest collections of art, with pieces ranging from ancient Egypt to 20th-century Europe, and discover masterpieces by da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Rembrandt. Read More close
Admire Nevsky Prospect and its most prestigious buildings such as the Anichkov, Stroganov, and Belozersky palaces, as well as Lutheran, Catholic, and Armenian churches, the Orthodox Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, the Eliseev, Singer, and Mertens buildings. Cross the Fontanka, the river that, along with the Moika River and Griboedov Canal, formed the border of the city center.
Along the Griboedov Canal spot the famed Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood with multicolored cupolas and gold onion domes. The Winter Palace, once a residence of the tsars and now the Hermitage Museum, dominates the northern bank of the Neva, the Peter and Paul Fortress and its high spire command the skyline on the opposite bank.
Stop by the Aurora a cruiser with guns that opened the October Revolution, followed by the House of Peter the Great. On Vasilievsky Island see the Menchikov Palace and a building of the State University.
Pass the Admiralty with its imposing gold broach, a symbol of the navy, and admire the statue of Peter the Great in front of the Senate building, and St. Isaac’s Cathedral's red granite columns. Admire the Conservatory and Mariinsky Theatre on Theater Square before ending your tour with a visit to St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral, surrounded by canals.
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Sail by the historical city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and enjoy plenty of photo opportunities from the open deck. As you glide along, take in views of the Peter and Paul Fortress, the towering Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, and Yusupov Palace—or Moika Palace.
Cruising along the canals and rivers of St. Petersburg is a great way to get acquainted with the unique spirit of the former imperial capital. Get a chance to admire the city's façades, pink granite embankments, and several of the 350 bridges—the most beautiful bridges are adorned with decorative wrought-iron railings and ornamental sculptures. Read More close
As you listen to insightful commentary from your guide, admire excellent examples of Russian art including Soviet realism, decorative art, traditional crafts, as well as one of the world’s best collections of applied arts and sculptures. Be sure to see the most famous treasures—the splendid icons of Andrei Rublev, a renowned medieval Russian painter of Orthodox icons and frescoes.
Inaugurated by Nicholas II in 1895, the Russian Museum and its 320,000 exhibits beautifully demonstrate the evolution of Russian art from the 11th century onward. Marvel at the expansive collection located in a majestic neoclassical palace, built by the Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich and designed by Carlo Rossi, before a convenient ride back to your hotel. Read More close
Your tour begins on Nevsky Prospect, the St. Petersburg's beautiful main thoroughfare and the commercial and social heart of the city. Admire buildings like the Anichkov, Stroganov, and Beloselsky-Belozersky palaces, as well as the Great Gostiny Dvor Department Store, the Anichkov Bridge, and some of the city's most important churches, including the neoclassical colonnade of Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral.
Not far from Nevsky Prospect, you can spot the multi-colored onion domes of the Church of the Savior on Blood above the Griboedov Canal. Follow the Moika River past delightful painted facades to reach the Winter Palace, the former seat of imperial power and now part of one of the world's oldest and largest museums.
Cross the Neva by the Palace Bridge for a splendid view of the Hermitage, the Strelka, and the Peter and Paul Fortress. After passing the famous spire of the Admiralty, make your way to Senate Square to see the Bronze Horseman, the famous mounted statue of Peter the Great.
After a walk around the imposing St. Isaac's Cathedral, your tour comes to an end on the elegant street of Bolshaya Morskaya. Read More close
Take a seat and listen to the onboard commentary as you start your exploration at St. Isaac’s Cathedral, which dominates the St Petersburg skyline and is renowned for its obscenely lavish interior. Then, passing through Palace Square, hop off at another elegant landmark, the Winter Palace. This is the official residence of the Russian monarchs and part of the grand Hermitage Museum. Here, you can see over 3 million art and cultural exhibits in 350 halls, making it one of the world’s largest museums.
Back on the bus, drive by various canals, gardens and parkland as you admire the picturesque views that make the city the greenest and one of the most scenic in the country. At Nevsky Prospekt—St Petersburg’s main avenue—you can find the home to many palaces, theaters, museums, and the heart of the city’s social and cultural life.
Opt to upgrade your experience with a leisurely cruise along the Neva River. Sit back and gaze upon the stunning splendor of the city from a different perspective. With 6 different stops, you can also hop back onto land to explore as you wish. Read More close
As you explore St. Petersburg, hear insider tips and interesting anecdotes from your knowledgeable guide. In the winter the splendidly illuminated façades enhance the beauty of the main buildings, impressive monuments, city squares, and ornate palaces against the inky sky—showing a new aspect of St. Petersburg, especially on the scenic embankments along the frozen Neva.
In the summer, and especially during the period known as the White Nights, a captivating semi-daylight surprises and delights visitors. Get a glimpse of the vibrant leafy riverbanks and watch the raising of the bridges in order to allow ships to cross the city center, creating a one-of-a-kind spectacle and an unforgettable memory.
Your evening route may include Nevsky Prospect, Moyka River, and Griboyedov Canal as well as the Neva River, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, and St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral. Admire renowned sights such as the Hermitage, the Peter and Paul Fortress, and the Aurora cruiser. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
Jump on board a comfortable bus or minivan and get up close and personal with the city's landmarks, which take on a beautiful glow as night sets in. When twilight takes over, the city's streets, squares, and embankments acquire a unique charm.
Journey past some of St. Petersburg's most well-known landmarks, including the Winter Palace and the magnificent St. Isaac's Cathedral, with its floodlit, gilded dome shining in the night sky. You also travel past some of the most beautiful rivers and canals, with their bridges lit up, showcasing their intricate designs. Read More close
After pickup at your hotel, get to know Russia's culture as you enjoy the performance of professional musicians and dances in traditional costumes. If you like, enjoy an optional dinner at a different venue. Depending on availability, dine at a restaurant such as Demidov, Na Zdorovie, or Podvorie. Savor hot and cold starters, an entrée, and dessert, with alcoholic beverages available for purchase.
Sample menu includes:
- Bread and butter
- Starter salad of smoked salmon with cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, chicken eggs, and sauce of homemade mayonnaise, ginger, horseradish, mustard, lemon juice, and greensHot Starter
- Potato basket baked with forest mushrooms and sour cream
- Chicken-Kiev, a breaded and deep-fried chicken fillet stuffed with green butter and served with mashed potatoes
- Dessert of sour cream cake, cream shortcakes layered with sour cream with sugar and honey
- Mineral water, tea, or coffee Read More close
Novgorod was built on the trade route between central Asia and northern Europe, and was Russia's first capital during the 9th century. Surrounded by churches and monasteries, it was once considered a spiritual center. Medieval monuments and frescoes still stand as a testament to its architectural development.
Today the city is a UNESCO-listed site and makes for a great day trip from St. Petersburg. On your visit, stop at the Novgorod Kremlin, which houses Russia's oldest clock tower. After a delicious lunch in a traditional restaurant, head to the Old Marketplace on the banks of the Volkhov River. Finally, gaze in wonder at the beauty of the Yuriev Monastery, Russia's oldest monastery. Read More close
Begin your day with convenient transportation from your hotel. Meet your knowledgeable guide and start your scenic trip through the city. See the Museum of Wooden Architecture that provides excellent examples of typical Northern Russia architecture. Then, see the beautiful golden domes of St. George’s Monastery as they tower above the scenery.
Inside the city, its former medieval center is the Yaroslavl Court. Here, you can admire the churches dedicated to the saint patrons of different professional guilds, such as St. Nicholas Cathedral.
Before your tour ends, catch a glimpse of the magnificent Kremlin on the opposite bank of the Volkhov River. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
Your expert guide recounts the city's turbulent history as you drive along the avenues that make up the beautiful UNESCO-listed city center of St. Petersburg. Get up-close views of the Peter and Paul Fortress, the neo-classical Winter Palace, and the city's oldest construction, St. Isaac's Cathedral.
Not only do you travel past the city's famous landmarks, you also get a glimpse into some of the lesser-known highlights, including the beautiful Smolny Cathedral and the Bronze Horseman statue. Gaze out at the splendid buildings from the comfort of your seat while your guide pieces together the events that have scarred the city as well as the dramatic plans in place for its future. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
Start with a look at the prestigious buildings along Nevsky Prospect, such as the Anichkov, Stroganov, and Belozersky Palaces or the orthodox Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan. From there, cross the Fontanka River into the historic city center and see the multicolored cupolas of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.
At the Neva River, you can see the Winter Palace standing opposite the high spire of the Peter and Paul Fortress, the first building in the city, a symbol of the naval power envisioned by Peter the Great. In addition to a grand cathedral, the fortress holds the graves of the Romanov tsars and their families, including that of Peter the Great himself.
Next, visit the Aurora, a famous cruiser whose guns marked the beginning of the October Revolution, and see the house where Peter the Great oversaw the city's construction. See the spire of the Admiralty, the famous equestrian statue of Peter the Great in front of the Senate building, and the red granite columns of St. Isaac's Cathedral. The tour concludes with a visit to the St. Nicolas Naval Cathedral, surrounded by canals. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
With convenient transportation from your hotel, head to the palace at Pavlovsk. It was a present from Catherine the Great to her son Pavel, future Tsar Paul I, in 1777. The place soon took the name of Pavlovsk Palace and quickly acquired numerous masterpieces by Rubens, Tiepolo, and Rosa thanks to the tsar's wife, Maria Fedorovna, who was fond of art and a sponsor of many artists.
As you guide shares anecdotes about powerful tsars, admire refined state rooms and great halls, elegant fireplaces made from Carrara marble, and an extensive collection of porcelain, paintings, and ivory articles. A masterpiece of European landscape architecture, the park covers 1,482 acre (600 ha). Initially a game reserve for the tsar, the park is one of the largest landscaped gardens in the world. Read More close
The cathedral that sits in the center of the fortress is the city's tallest building as well as the burial place of Russian tsars, from Peter I to Alexander III. Your guide fills you in on the history of the fortress, from its conception as defense for the city to its repurposing as political prison during the Russian Revolution.
Later, enjoy a panoramic city tour of St. Petersburg, gaining up-close views of the neo-classical Winter Palace in the world's 4th largest square—Palace Square—and the city's oldest standing building, St. Isaac's Cathedral, with its impressive gilded dome.
In addition to the city's famous landmarks, you also get to glimpse some of the lesser-known highlights, including the beautiful Smolny Cathedral and the statue of the Bronze Horseman. Read More close
With quick entry, follow your guide through the building that tsars used as a political prison for their main opponents. Dominating 3 branches of the Neva River, the fortress is considered the foundation of St. Petersburg and one of the guns on top of its bulwarks is fired every day at noon. With your guide, discover how what was initially a small wooden church expanded to become the cathedral.
In the center of the fortress, admire the gilded cupola and 402-foot (122. 5-m) bell tower of the Peter and Paul Cathedral. Here, see the graves of tsars of the Romanov dynasty and their families, including the grave of Peter the Great, founder of the city, as well as those of Nicholas II and his family—killed during the Bolshevik Revolution of 1918. Read More close
On the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland and about 18 miles (30 km) from St. Petersburg, the Peterhof Palace—along with the city center—is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built as a summer residence for Peter I, the lavish Grand Palace, fittingly called the "Russian Versailles," was designed by the French architect Leblond and continued by the Rococo master, Bartolomeo Rastrell.
Be sure to see the main attractions such as the monumental Ceremonial Staircase, the luxuriously gilded Ball Room, and the private rooms of Peter I such as the Oak Studio and the Throne Room. In addition to the magnificent interiors of the Grand Palace, admire the many small palaces, monuments, and pavilions scattered throughout the beautiful gardens.
Outside, don’t miss the famous ensemble of 150 fountains and 3 cascades decorated with splendid golden statues. Watch for the surprising "water play" during your excursion in the park. After your tour of this testament to the country's imperial past, return to the city by car or by hydrofoil on the Gulf of Finland and the Neva. Read More close
Your day begins with an enthralling walking tour of the center of this beautiful city. Visit iconic landmarks including the neo-classical St. Isaac's Cathedral, and oldest construction in the city—the Peter and Paul Fortress. Stand in the center of Palace Square and take in the classical beauty of the enormous Winter Palace before heading to the baroque-style Stroganov Palace to see the waxwork exhibition.
After a traditional Russian lunch, enjoy a 2-hour guided tour of Russia's largest museum, the State Hermitage Museum. It is commonly stated that because the museum houses an incredible 2. 7 million pieces in its collection, if you spent just 1 minute with each piece, seeing everything would take 11 years. Browse this vast collection, discovering masterpieces by da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Rembrandt. Read More close
Travel back to the late 18th century when Pavlovsk Palace was serving its purpose as the summer residence of the Russian emperors and their families. A collaboration between the greatest architects of the era, this magnificent estate has a multitude of artistic and architectural influences. Stroll through the beautifully restored rooms and learn about the palace's turbulent history from your knowledgeable guide.
Venture into the opulent State Bedroom and the elegant Throne Room. After viewing the lavish interior, go for a leisurely stroll around the stunningly landscaped park. The estate sits on a hill overlooking an English-style park with a beautiful river running through it. It was created for Paul I, who was looking for a quiet place to rest and gather his thoughts.
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Step into the Peterhof Palace and be transported back to the days of Catherine the Great and Peter the Great. Wander through vast rooms with opulently decorated interiors and furniture collected since the beginning of its construction in 1714.
The palace itself sits amid an enormous park, adorned with over 140 fountains, statues, and pavilions. The Upper Garden is a formal French-style garden with 5 fountains including 1 depicting Neptune, the God of the Sea. The estate's Lower Park lies between the Grand Palace and the seashore and boasts the world's largest system of fountains, earning the title the "Russian Versailles. " The park's unique fountain system was designed in the 18th century and doesn't require the use of any pumps to operate.
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Enjoy the scenic drive by private car as you journey back in time to the reign of Catherine the Great and many other Russian tsars who used the palace as their summer retreat.
Wander along its opulently decorated halls and step into the breathtaking Amber Room. Once referred to as the "8th Wonder of the World," the room was created in 1701 using 6 tons of amber. During World War II, the room was looted by Nazi Germany, and the room's contents were lost. After decades of work by Russian craftsmen, the reconstructed Amber Room is now back to its former glory.
Finally, take some time to explore the palace's manicured gardens, which showcase Russia's love affair with landscape gardening during the 18th century. The stunning architecture here is fused elegantly with natural beauty. Read More close
After convenient pickup from your hotel, arrive at the church and listen to insightful commentary from your guide as you explore the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. Built in the 1880s by order of Alexander III, it was designed as a memorial to his father, Alexander II, killed in an attack at the location where the building stands today.
Its towering silhouette along the Griboedov Canal is undoubtedly one of the iconic symbols of the city. Built in the medieval Russian style in the spirit of romantic nationalism and influenced by churches of the Yaroslavl region and Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood looks very different from the rest of the churches in St. Petersburg.
Take time to marvel at the façade, made from red bricks decorated with mosaics, and the onion domes covered in brightly colored ceramics and gilded painting. However, the magnificent interior of the church holds its greatest splendor—with more than 80,729 square feet (7,500 sq m) of detailed mosaics covering the walls and ceiling. Read More close
After pickup at your hotel, arrive at St. Isaac’s Cathedral, decorated with luxurious materials like gold, malachite, lazuli, 14 varieties of marble, more than 40 minerals and semiprecious stones, and 6,458 square feet (600 sq m) of mosaics along with numerous paintings and sculptures. Admire the imposing columns, each 141 feet (43 m) high and made from a single piece of granite from Finland.
One of the richest cathedrals in Europe, this St. Petersburg landmark was designed by 2 main architects, Agustin de Betancourt and Auguste de Montferrand. More than half a million workers took part in the construction, made particularly difficult by the swampy ground, the magnitude of the project, and heavy materials weighing more than 300,000 tons (272,155 mT).
Today the cathedral is a museum with only a single small chapel used for religious purposes every day although religious services are still held on the most important orthodox holidays. If you like, upgrade your tour with a visit to the dome of the cathedral. From the open gallery around St. Isaac’s colossal cupola, admire a splendid panorama of the Neva and the city's main monuments. Read More close
Find your seats in the magnificent ballroom of the palace and settle in for an evening of stunning Russian entertainment. The beautiful ladies of the Reverence dance group kick things off accompanied by Peter's Quartet. This is followed by Maidan, a group performing Cossack songs and dances. The Stars of St. Petersburg is the final group to perform. The dancers in this group graduated from the best Russian choreography schools and are sure to dazzle with their repertoire of lyrical dances of northern Russia.
During the interval, a selection of canapés, meats, and cheeses are available. Wash down these delicacies with Russian vodka, champagne, or a range of soft drinks while enjoying the classical quartet that plays in the background.
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Hop off your cruise ship in St. Petersburg and into your roundtrip transportation to make your way to Pushkin. Meet your guide and allow time for a brief introduction and overview of the day ahead. Then, begin your exploration of the charming city.
One of the main sights you see is Catherine’s Palace—named and commissioned by Peter the Great. Learn about the design of the palace by famous Italian architect, Bartolomeo Rastrelli, and how the construction spanned the reigns of 5 tsars. During each reign each tsar’s architect put their own spin on the palace to make it fashionable for that age, and your guide can help point out all the unique influences.
Visit the Amber Room, a favorite of Catherine II, and see the Baltic amber that stretches from floor to ceiling. This room was kept from the public for almost 100 years and only reopened in 2003, on the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg.
Next, admire the beauty of the large ballroom known as the Grand Hall or the Hall of Paintings. The beautiful architecture of the palace is surrounded by the neighboring park, where you can walk among the birches, firs, lakes, ponds, streams, bridges, sculptures, and pavilions—unforgettable beauty that has been the subject of many poets and artists. Read More close
See Nevsky Prospect and prestigious buildings such as the Anichkov, Stroganov, and Beloselsky-Belozersky palaces as well as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, and the Eliseev, Singer, and Mertens buildings. Along the banks of Griboyedov Canal, spot the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood with multi-colored cupolas and gold onion domes.
Marvel at the Hermitage Museum, dominating the northern bank of the Neva River, and the Peter and Paul Fortress with its high spire on the opposite bank. Then pass the Aurora cruiser and see the Strelka and Menshikov Palace on Vasilyevsky Island. Admire the Admiralty, the red granite columns of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, and a statue of Peter the Great at the Senate building.
Spot the Conservatory and Mariinsky Theatre on Theatre Square and visit St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral, a Baroque building with massive golden cupolas. Surrounded by canals and composed of 2 separated churches, St. Nicholas Church and Epiphany Church, it was a gift from Prince Golitsin to Tsaritsa Elisaveta Petrovna as the temple of St. Nicholas the Miraculous, patron saint of sailors.
With your guide, explore the world-famous Hermitage Museum, Russia’s biggest museum, featuring paintings by da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt, Picasso, Matisse, and Van Gogh. Boasting sumptuous interiors and more than 3 million masterpieces, it occupies the Winter Palace, a former residence of tsars. Read More close
Get started with a look at the most prestigious buildings along Nevsky Prospect, such as the Anichkov, Stroganov, and Beloselsky-Belozersky palaces, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, the Eliseev, Singer, and Mertens buildings, and more. Cross the Fontanka River for a look at the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, built in exquisite Russian style with multicolored cupolas and gold onion domes.
On the bank of the Neva River, you can see the Winter Palace, once a residence for the Russian imperial family, opposite the high spire of the Peter and Paul Fortress. After a stop to see the cruiser Aurora, whose guns marked the start of the October Revolution, visit the modest residence where Peter the Great personally oversaw the construction of the city between 1703 and 1708.
A visit to Vasilyevsky Island lets you see the Strelka, Menchikov Palace and the Admiralty building, after which you visit St. Isaac's Square to see the Senate building and St. Isaac's Cathedral, with its impressive columns made from Finnish red granite, as well as the famous statue of Peter the Great. The tour ends with a visit to the St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral and a ride back to your ship. Read More close
Categories: Tours & Sightseeing
Your tour starts with a look at the prestigious buildings along Nevsky Prospect, including the Anichkov, Stroganov, and Beloselsky-Belozersky palaces and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan. Visit to the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, built in memory of Tsar Alexander II on the site of his assassination.
After a look at the Winter Palace, cross the Neva for a visit to the Peter and Paul Fortress, a garrison and prison built in the 18th century. See the cruiser Aurora, whose guns opened the October Revolution, followed by the log cabin where Peter the Great oversaw the city's construction.
Next, visit Vasilyevsky Island, the Admiralty Building, St. Isaac's Square, and the St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral, a beautiful Russian Baroque building built in a neighborhood crisscrossed by canals. The scene gives you a sense of why St. Petersburg is called the northern Venice, with more than 100 canals spanning 186 miles (300 km) and forming a trademark of the city.
Your tour ends with a cruise along the waterways, where you can admire the façades, pink granite embankments, and beautiful bridges with wrought-iron railings and ornamental sculptures before you return to your ship. Read More close
In Pushkin or Tsarskoye Selo, "Village of the Tsars," explore Catherine Palace, one of the most beautiful residences of the tsars and designed by renowned architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli. As it spanned the reigns of 5 tsars, each altered the palace based on what was popular at the time, ranging from rococo to neoclassic.
Admire the large ballroom—the Grand Hall or the Hall of Paintings—and famed Amber Room, covered from floor to ceiling with Baltic amber and hidden from the public for almost 100 years. In the neighboring park, walk among ponds, birches, firs, streams, bridges, sculptures, and pavilions.
Next, visit Peterhof, the "Russian Versailles" and main summer residence of the tsars, on the Gulf of Finland. Get a glimpse of the Grand Palace before exploring Peterhof Park, designed by prominent architects who challenged the hostile northern climate to create a masterpiece of color, greenery, and breathtaking panoramas.
The Upper Gardens, designed by Leblond, feature colorful flowerbeds and manicured hedges. The Lower Park, designed by Meders and Quarenghi among others, has many small palaces and pavilions scattered among the gardens. Do not miss its ensemble of 150 fountains and 3 cascades decorated with golden statues.
Return to Saint Petersburg by hydrofoil on the Gulf of Finland and the Neva, admiring breathtaking views over the St. Petersburg skyline. Upon arriving at the pier, enjoy a drive back to your cruise ship.
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Meet your guide in Palace Square and stop to marvel at the grand Winter Palace, the former residency of the Russian monarchs. Then, head across the Neva River to a little-known panorama spot to enjoy spectacular views of the Palace Embankment and St. Issac’s Cathedral.
Next, make your way to the Peter and Paul Fortress, the city's oldest structure and burial place of many Russian emperors. Continue on to the domed towers of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood—the massive cathedral built on the site of Alexander II’s assassination.
Walk along the city’s busiest street, Nevsky Prospect, while your guide gives you an insider's view on local life. Arrive at Stroganoff Palace—where the famed beef stroganoff was invented—and stop at a nearby local fast food shop, where you can try a traditional Russian lunch, like borscht or that aforementioned stroganoff.
Finish the tour in front of the breathtaking golden dome of St. Issac’s Cathedral as your guide leaves you to continue your day of exploration. Read More close
Kick off your Russian adventure in one of the world’s most elaborate metro stations, an underground hub filled with soaring ceilings and elegant decorations—not to mention nuclear bomb shelters and blast doors. Next, warm up with a shot of vodka—the Russian libation par excellence—at a traditional bar decked out in Soviet Air Force equipment.
After passing the Soviet-style building where the Red October nuclear submarines were designed, walk by the home of Rasputin, one of Russia’s most mysterious characters. Then head towards the apartment of former Communist leader, Vladimir Lenin.
Duck under archways and learn about the dark appearance of St. Petersburg's "well-yards". Things brighten up as you take in the art nouveau façade of the Baltiysky train station on your way to the tour’s end at an elaborately decorated playground full of sculptures and paintings dedicated entirely to the The Wizard of Oz. Read More close
Affectionately known as the "Venice of the North," the city rivals Venice and Paris in its romantic atmosphere. St. Petersburg was originally built on 33 islands separated by canals in the delta of the Neva River. Now these canals and rivers offer a unique view of the iconic landmarks that dot the city, such as the magnificent Hermitage Museum—one of the largest art museums in the world—and the Vasilyevsky Island with its famous Palace Bridge.
Glide past historic monuments and landmarks during this cruise and visit otherwise inaccessible areas of the city. Read More close
Follow your expert guide through Russia's biggest museum, founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and growing richer over centuries as tsars purchased art collections abroad. Marvel at the museum's collection of more than 3 million masterpieces and invaluable sculptures, crystal, porcelain, carpets, jewelry, engravings, antiques from the classical era, modern art, weapons, coins, and rare books.
Get a glimpse of famous Italian, Flemish, French, and Spanish pictorial art. The Hermitage is particularly known for paintings of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Rembrandt, as well as Impressionists such as Gauguin, Matisse, and Van Gogh, and modern art by Picasso. Its sumptuous interiors, decorated by works of talented artists, are a marvelous frame for this unique collection. Read More close
Your tour begins on Nevsky Prospect, the beautiful main thoroughfare that forms the commercial and social heart of St. Petersburg. Admire the grand palaces, the Gostiny Dvor department store, and important churches such as the Lutheran Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, the Catholic Church of St. Catherine, the Armenian Church of St. Catherine, and the neoclassical colonnade of Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral.
A walk past the luxurious Grand Hotel Europe takes you toward the Arts Quartier. After a walk around the majestic Mikhailovsky Palace, visit the Russian Museum, where 320,000 items display the evolution of Russian art since the 11th century. Admire one of the best collections of Russian paintings, sculpture, applied arts, decorative art, and traditional crafts, along with the splendid icons of Andrey Rublev.
Not far from Nevsky Prospect, you can see the multi-colored onion domes of the Church of the Savior on Blood, built to mark the site of the assassination of Tsar Alexander II. Step inside the church's magnificent interior to admire the breathtaking splendor of its decorations, with more than 80,000 square feet (7,500 sq m) of mosaic, a unique display unlike any other church in the world. Read More close
Your excursion begins with convenient pickup from your hotel. Once you arrive at the ornate palace, marvel at the impressive decorations such as frescoes, marble, stucco moldings, reliefs, Venetian mirrors, gold chandeliers, lovely furniture, soft silks, and carpets. A visit to this palace gives you a glimpse into the luxury and wealth of noble families in pre-revolutionary times.
In addition to silk and marble ornaments, the Yusupov Palace even has its own theater with seating for 180 people where the most famous artists of the day gave private performances for the Yusupov family and guests. It was in this palace that Grigory Rasputin, favorite of Tsar Nicolas II and his wife, was killed in December 1916.
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